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How and where do I start to training for races(13 posts)

How and where do I start to training for racesM T
Jan 9, 2003 10:34 AM
Please help with some basics. I started riding almost a year ago. I start from scratch and rode my 1st Century last fall I'm having a ball. I'm not going to ever be a fulltime racer.(I have a wife,2 small kids and a Business to run). However, I do have time to log my miles and really want to improve this year. My goal is to reach peak fitness/performance. I have a group I ride with (when there's day light) and there was alway one guy they spoke of as the "strongest rider". I WANT TO BE THAT GUY THIS YEAR!!!
But I don't know where to start to train Am I training effectively or am I grinding myself up. I've purchased a heart rate monitor but I don't understand it yet. What do you mean when you say train at "LT or TT, Zone 2 not Zone 1 Base Training vs LSD training. When I astablish my Target heart rate, How many day do I train in it, above it, At it? On recovery days (how many recovery days should there be per training days, What heart rate is considered a recovery rate and how long do I do it. How far is far, How fast is fast?
What about my trainer during the winter and "establishing a Base". What does that mean, What do I do on my trainer ( I assume I'm not using it effectively either) for how long and how many days a week.At what Cadence, What heart rate, how many days, How long.
Last but not Least, Diet??? Proteins Carb,Etc. I'm Lost!!! I read the label on evey food now. But I don't know what I'm looking for. Do I need 5g's of protien/Carbs or 50g's or 500g's. Is that per meal, per day,per lbs of body weight? I'm not a nutritionist nor do I want to become one. Is ther a webpage "meals made easy" eat this much of these foods and don't eat these and forget the labels!!!
Please understand I'm serious and overlook most of my sacasm. But I really do want to reach my fullest potental. But I don't have time to go back to college and get an "MBA in Biking" and ride also. I'd Rather just ride. Any way I could spend the extra time brushing up on my Spelling. Todd
re: How and where do I start to training for racesNo_sprint
Jan 9, 2003 10:38 AM
Get yourself Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible and read it. Find a local racing oriented club, join it and ride with them, talk with them, learn from them. Read postings here.
some info linksDougSloan
Jan 9, 2003 11:08 AM
General info:

Read the rules:

Get a good newsletter:

Additional info:
Some General Ideas...........CARBON110
Jan 9, 2003 1:35 PM
-Use only your small chainring for the next two monthseven on downhills.
-Keep your hearrate below 155 if possible.
-Do some EASY weight lifting with 20-25 reps but LIGHT weight and alot of crunchs 2x a week. If you cant lift weighs DO ALOT OF CRUNCHES ( 25 x 5 sets )3x a week and some push ups.
-Go on group rides and draft off people to save energy.
- start practicing high cadence drills in small chainring
-spin dont grind.. try 4x 4 mintues 100rpm on the trainer
-dont pay attention to speed or distance but hours instead.
-try to get at least two 3hour rides in a week.
Monday: Rest
Tues:1 1/2 hour ride easy
Wed. 3 hour ride easy improve HANDLING SKILLS around corners and descents
Thur:2 hour ride easy d some form sprints ie. practice form not speed for sprints
Fri: 1 hour really easy
Sat:2 1/2 easy
Sun:3 hour easy

Change it up if you need to, trainer is fine going over 155 heart rate is fine but not too much. Get 50% of ride under 150bpm unless your one of those 200+ max guys.

Buy Friels Book
Find a group best advice possible. Have a blast

The first race I ever went to I had 600 miles in my legs and got shot out the ack after 30 minutes LOL! Thats when I started asking questions... that was 3 years ago...theres some people here who will give training adivce, information for a fee. Might be a good idea to check it out. Also go to TRAININGBIBLE.COM and read the message board. Make sure your wife yells your name every time you pass by her in your crit! HA HA
Good advice above, and another web sitehrv
Jan 9, 2003 3:29 PM
Check out for a seat-of-the-pants approach to racing.

re: How and where do I start to training for racesFasCat
Jan 11, 2003 6:44 PM
Hi Todd--
Those are all questions that we had at some point or another when we started biking. Let me see if I can clarify a few things for you. But that's awesome that you want to be "that guy" I wanted to be that guy about 6 yrs. ago and now I'm a Pro so you can see the sport is incredibly rewarding --if you work at it.

Heart Rate Monitor: One simple way to set your Zones is to find a nice hill and pedal up it as fast as you can (race pace) Afterwards find your average heart rate and that is your Anaerobic threshold a.k.a. your LT. TT is for time trial. Zone 2 is usually about 70% of your Max HR. Another simple way to know your max is to take 226 and subtract your age. There are better ways but hey this is an internet forum :) Zone 2 is where you should do your base training a.k.a. LSD (long slow distance)

Time spent at Zone 5 (above your anaerobic threshold) is critical to improving your fitness. This is where intervals play a large role in your training. Find a nice stretch of road ( I prefer hills) where you can open it up. I usually mount my HR monitor on the handlebar and watch it climb up to Zone 5. Hold that pace for the duration of the interval. Take a break and repeat. Time and repetition can be decided by a training reference or even a coach if you would like to avoid getting an MBA in biking. OR wait--I'm a coach. I went to the school of racing to get my degree in biking (there was some time in graduate school) but the lure of cycling prevented me from registering for the Fall semester. Anyways back to my shameless plug: or

OK back to your questions: Indoor trainers are great so get a remote control and some DVD's I'd recommend any Tour videos so Phil Ligget may inspire you as you daydream about climbing the Alps.
Establishing a base refers to the period in your training before the season starts (usually wintertime) where you ride predominantly in Zone 2. Base allows your aerobic system to become super efficient. Many physilogical changes occur in response to the training stimuli. For instance your mitochondrial density increases so the skeletal muscle in your legs can produce more ATP for muscle contractions. Your heart will get bigger. Enough science talk. Between 2-5 hours are great. Back to back days on the weekend are awesome. Once late winter rolls around it will be time to start doing some intervals to get ready for those group rides.

Diet--It can be simple and it can be hard. "Ride more eat less" is one adage to quote the famous cyclist Eddy Mercx. Do you drink beer or soda? If so give it up. I know its rough but you will see a tremendous difference from not taking in all that uneccessary sugar. Eat salad--lots. Fruits and vegetables too. Stay away from any processed foods especially those with partially hydrogenated fats:(

Alright I hope I have been some help here. Email me if you have more questions and please visit my website @ I'd love to help more.

Good Luck!
whatWoof the dog
Jan 11, 2003 8:22 PM
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L M A O ! My Favorite One Yet Dog :)CARBON110
Jan 13, 2003 12:19 PM
I don't get it. nmDougSloan
Jan 13, 2003 1:04 PM
From the looks of it, Woof's been partying w/Ullrich. nmshirt
Jan 13, 2003 4:02 PM
Thanks, Atleast for most of the adviceM T
Jan 15, 2003 7:37 AM
Thanks for all the information. Doug I printed Off 20-30 articles to take on the plane with me this week. I really liked Cycling Performance tips. Not Adds just Facts.No-Sprint there isn't a club near enough to jon but I have found a member of one who I know So we'll Meet at the half way pint between here and there and I'll get some ride and advice there. I really was feeling like I was Starting to understand some things Fascat I was verythankful for your definitions( and Will proably email you for advice/caoching. The I read Woof/dog. And It all turn Greek to me again!!! I guess I'll never understan all the racing language. What about diet!!!
What foods?
food, dietDougSloan
Jan 15, 2003 8:10 AM
Check some of the "Knowledge" articles and products here:

They are also good about responding to specific questions there. Steve Born there is almost like a mentor to me.

Thanks, Atleast for most of the adviceFasCat
Jan 16, 2003 6:25 AM
You are welcome for the advice, anytime. We've all been there. As for diet you have asked quite a doozy! It all depends on your goal. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you training hard? Or are you trying to teach your body to burn fat? Or something else... In general I recommend a 70/15/15 diet rich in low glycemic indexed carbohydrates. Stay away from sugars, soda, & partially hydrogenated fats. If you eating for a race, eat your last meal 3-4 hours prior and use gels, bars and drink mixes leading up to and during the race. Afterwards consume a carbohydrate snack or meal as soon as possible to expediate recovery.
I hope this helps but I realize it only scratches the surface!